Going into the fight, Mike Tyson was the undefeated and undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. He held the WBC, WBA, and IBF titles. Despite the several controversies that marked Tyson's profile at the time, such as his abusive relationship with Robin Givens; the contractual battles between manager Bill Cayton and promoter Don King; and Tyson's departure from trainer Kevin Rooney; Mike Tyson was still lethal in the ring, scoring a 93-second knockout against Carl "The Truth" Williams in his previous fight. Most considered this fight to be a warm-up bout for Tyson before meeting up with then-undefeated number 1 heavyweight contender Evander Holyfield. Buster Douglas was ranked as just the #7 heavyweight by Ring Magazine, and had met with mixed success in his professional boxing career up to that point. His previous title fight was against Tony Tucker in 1987, in which he was TKOd in the 10th round. However, a string of six consecutive wins gave him the opportunity to fight Tyson.